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Exivious Liminal album cover
3.99 | 71 ratings | 5 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Entrust (6:27)
2. One's Glow (4:37)
3. Alphaform (4:51)
4. Deeply Woven (6:53)
5. Triguna (5:09)
6. Movement (4:52)
7. Open (6:33)
8. Immanent (6:03)

Total Time: 45:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Tymon Kruidenier / guitars, production & mixing
- Michel Nienhuis / guitars
- Robin Zielhorst / bass
- Yuma van Eekelen / drums

- Jonas Knutsson / sax solo (4)
- Manfred Dikkers / percussion (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Henrik van Leeuwen with Coen Klösters and Pieter Willems

CD Season Of Mist ‎- SOM 318 (2013, France)

2xLP Blood Music ‎- BLOOD-072 (2014, Finland) Remastered

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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EXIVIOUS Liminal ratings distribution

(71 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

EXIVIOUS Liminal reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
3 stars From the recommendation of several contributors at progarchives, I decided to listen to this new album from the Exivious. This Netherlands-based outfit are definitely hard to peg in terms of genre. Their style is heavy, but not in the way of normal tech metal or progressive metal bands. There isn't much in the way of riffing or pretentious, cheesy cliches. Exivious are completely different, really.

Their new album, "Liminal", is an instrumental affair that is always interesting and spell- binding. Indeed, I think that is the most impressive aspect here: The music grabs holds and doesn't let go. Exivious builds a wonderful wall of sound using finger-splitting guitar work, offbeat drumming with amazing fills, and incredible bass work. One of the things you will notice right away is the fact that Exivious is VERY comfortable with VERY odd time signatures. The first track, "Entrust", is an easy example of this, as the song never quite feels "right" the first time through, but then your mind will grasp the beat in all of its intangible glory in subsequent listens. In the end, the composition is genius and absolutely mind-boggling to perform.

The album never really stops, though. "One's Glow" and "Alphaform" continue the incredible composition, though I feel that they are slightly more accessible. Track after track full of instrumental fireworks passes by, and the listener is blown away time and again by the fullness of the sound and the ease with which the band establishes an odd groove. This band has a penchant for creating groovy atmospheres that blow right over your head, but then come back and smack you in the spine with their genius.

All of that, however, is also the problem with this album. The band never STOPS. There is a total lack of soul and emotion to the music, and so it comes out feeling machine-like and frigid. There isn't any meaning to the music, and there isn't much (if any) melody, either. If that's okay with you, then listen, by all means. However, I end up feeling nothing from this album, except for maybe befuddlement. It's a great album through and through, but I look to get more from an album then just technical wonder. It all comes down to what you want, and this album doesn't fit the bill for me personally.

Review by Andy Webb
5 stars It's incredible to think what a band can do when not faced with the pretense of filling a genre requirement, a label's wish, or some other setback that can detract from the quality of the music. When a band has the freedom to do as the band wishes without a care for whether the album will make the Billboard list or whether the album will get the band signed by a particular label, the composers can focus on what music makes them happiest and the most satisfied. In many ways, this is the origin of experimentation. Bands take ideas that they like and mashing them with various styles, influences, and sounds. Genres such as Rock in Opposition, krautrock, progressive metal, and other "fusions" of different genres have brought music forward and expanded the listening pallet of the music world. One of these progressions was the evolution of jazz metal. Jazz and metal, two genres most people were diametrically opposites, were fused first by bands such as Cynic, Atheist, and even Death.

In many ways, however, these early jazz metal bands simply took jazz syncopation and the odd 7th, 9th, or 11th chord to add to their compositions which were still very plainly metal, and in many cases death metal. Over time, however, the jazz become more defined, refined, and distinguished in the music. Modern bands such as Panzerballett, Planet X, The Gordian Knot, and Exivious took the jazz sound and slowly filtered in metal elements to a simply gorgeous result. The band Exivious, however, had a unique spin, as they took the fast paced, energetic scale-running sound of Cynic and fused with a clean, refined jazz fusion sound a-la Pat Metheny or even Weather Report. Their self-titled 2009 debut hit the scene with massive force, sending ripples throughout the progressive metal community who immediately begged for more.

It took the band three years to respond, this time with a request for their fans. The band's follow up album would be crowdfunded, putting the new Exivious album in the hands of their fans, hoping that the fans had enough faith in the band to push funding for recording. In a matter of days their goal was reached, and the band's second album, Liminal, was set to be recorded.

Tymon Kruidenier, the lead guitarist, had a single goal for this album: to make the most organic, pure-sounding Exivious album he possibly could. Every sound, instrument, and atmosphere on the album was to be organically produced from a real instrument without a single synth or computer involved, and the entire recording process was to be done live with real amps, mics, and set ups. No PODs, Pro Tools fiddling, or triggered drumming at all were to be seen on the album. In the end, 2013 saw the release of the band's follow up, and all of what Tymon promised was true - Liminal was the band's best offering yet, and is perhaps the most organic sounding metal album I have ever heard.

Of course, calling Exivious a metal band is a bit of a misnomer. The band is really a fusion band with metal elements, and Liminal shows this time and time again. Gorgeously crafted riffs revolve around delicately arranged jazz chords, any chugging that occurs is really only an accent to some form of jazzy arrangement, arpeggio, or solo, and if a drum line ever started to sound "heavy," it was only to develop a crescendo which would eventually break into some gorgeous arrangement of guitar melody. Songs like "Deeply Woven," "Movement," and "One's Glow" show the band's impressive grasp on this dynamic.

If you do need a snapshot of the power of Exivious' compositional ability, look no further than "Deeply Woven." If you'll allow me the excess, for this entire paragraph I will rant about how much I adore this song. This song was one of the singles the band released with the album, along with their more atmospheric "Movement," and I was absolutely hooked when I heard this song. Without sounding awkward, forced, or unnatural, the band effortlessly weaves from delicate arpeggio work to punching riffs to soaring solos and back. While the guitars do absolutely beautiful work here, one of the best treats about this song is the use of saxophone. Exivious can sometimes come off as cold due to their very strong use of meticulously placed guitar lines, but the flawless saxophone part in this song adds a dimension that is rarely heard in this breed of music. The compositional grace, instrumental alacrity, and emotional power evoked by the passionately played wind are impressive. The band, when faced with this new element of their sound, immediately transform into a powerful rhythm section for a jazz combo and fill the saxophone part with a dense chord structure and syncopative rhythm. I admit, even as a stalwart advocate for full- album listening, that I left this song on repeat for a long, long time.

The rest of the album, however, shows no lack of compositional ability, instrumental power, or emotional content. While the boys of Exivious are not in this business to produce tear- jerkers or ballads, a number of times the unadulterated passion in which they treat their music can produce some powerful emotions. And even still, songs such as "Deeply Woven" and the delicate atmospheric piece "Movement" can add an almost sensitive side to this music. At times, the compositions might seem mechanical due to the scale-running, fast chord changes, and machine-like drumming accuracy of Yuma van Eekelen, but there are numerous points on the album when the band stops, takes a breath, and enjoys the feeling of playing music, not just the theory of how to structure chords. Creating atmospheres naturally, weaving soundscapes with melody, and evoking a sense of pride for their music number just a few of the skills these musicians have.

I admit, as a backer of the album from the beginning over a year ago, perhaps I had a vested interest in enjoying this album. But I can guarantee, if you enjoy jazz fusion, a good musicianship, and a little bit of metal, you will fall in love with this album. The production quality of the album is supreme ? the listener feels as though they are right there with the band. Backers received an HD FLAC version of the recordings (an impressive one gigabyte for a single album), and on a high fidelity sound system this only enhanced this experience. The atmosphere the band weaves with their instrumentation brings on an adventure with sound ? their music can bring you places if you let it absorb you. You can tell these musicians absolutely love what they do and they put their entire heart and soul into their music and just by listening, you can feel the passion. This album is easily my favorite of 2013, and I hope it becomes yours. 5 stars.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Liminal" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Dutch progressive/fusion metal act Exivious. The album was released through Season of Mist in November 2013. The bandīs 2009 self-titled debut album was a self-released affair limited to 1000 copies. A great album that one and hopefully the deal with Season of Mist will bring the bandīs music to a wider audience. Exivious have existed since 1997 but went into a hiatus after releasing a couple of demos. They reunited in 2006, but it wasnīt until guitarist (and former vocalist) Tymon Kruidenier joined Cynic for the recording of their 2008 comeback album "Traced in Air", that most people heard about Exivious (bassist Robin Zielhorst is also credited for playing live with Cynic). The rest of the lineup consist of Yuma van Eekelen (ex-Pestilence) on drums (who replaces Stef Broks, who performed in the debut album) and Michel Nienhuis on guitars.

The music on "Liminal" continues down a similar instrumental progressive/fusion metal path to the path the band also tread on the debut album. To my ears the songwriting has improved and the music as a result sound more well thought out and mature. The album as a whole also features a great flow. The tracks are generally very dynamic in nature, featuring both flashy fusion metal sections with blistering jazz scale guitar solos, but also more atmospheric and mellow parts. The greatest asset is how well Exivious work as a unit though. All instruments are qually important in the soundscape and there is an attention to detail thatīs intriguing. These guys really understand that flashy playing usually becomes old fast when itīs not paired with well written compositions. And the compositions on "Liminal" are exquisite. Very tasteful yet powerful, melodic and challenging. The addition of saxophone on "Deeply Woven" is just another well tasting spice for the stew, but itīs actually hard to single out highlights as all material on the album are equally strong. I guess the atmospheric "Alphaform" deserves a special mention, but otherwise this is an album that deserves to be listened to as a whole.

To go along with the well written music, the listener is also treated to an incredibly well sounding production, which really brings out the little intriguing details in the music. The sound production may be clear and powerful, but itīs also organic sounding, which is yet another asset to my ears.

"Liminal" is through and through a brilliant release. The musicianship are on a high level (these guys sound at ease with playing the technically challenging sections. Everything just sound very natural and never forced), The sound production is very strong and the songwriting intriguing and powerful. There is nothing in this world that can hold me back from giving "Liminal" a deserved 4.5 star (90%) rating. An absolutely brilliant release this one.

Latest members reviews

4 stars "Liminal" is an amazing album, if you give it some time and make it part of your life. If you like bands like Spiral Architect, Planet-X, Twisted Into Form or Animals as Leaders, this one's for you. Fretless bass heaven, perfect dual-guitar interplay, tight arrangements and some serious monster j ... (read more)

Report this review (#1539203) | Posted by uribreitman | Sunday, March 13, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Metallic fusion with post-rock touches. The heaviness comes rather not from the tone of the guitars but density of sound and business of the rhythm section, that I think impresses nor less or even more than guitars. Those who think that instrumental metal music is about speed and emotionless sh ... (read more)

Report this review (#1156847) | Posted by Progrussia | Wednesday, April 2, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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